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How to be better than MacGyver

If you’ve ever seen a few MacGyver episodes (and who hasn’t?), you almost certainly witnessed some bomb almost explode. Disarming a bomb with only 1 second left is one of MacGyver’s specialty (along with creating all sorts of devices with chewing gum and duct tape). Though defusing a difficult situation only moments before it’s too late is a great ploy to create tension and emotion in the viewer, it also happens quite often in daily life.


photo credit: psd

You have deadlines, taxes to pay, DVDs to return, meeting presentations to prepare, etc. What all these situations have in common is that they cause significant pain (financial, emotional, etc) if you don’t take care of them in time. You may push them back for a while, but the closer you are to the deadline, the more your brain is obsessed with it. At some point, you will drop everything else and take care of the hot potato. In order to deal with it, you might do it yourself, ask your friends for help or even hire a freelancer.

Whatever it takes.

What happens is that the mind doesn’t want to be bothered with it, so it tries to avoid it as much as possible, until it gets real, and realizes there’s no way to escape it.

What happens when you have to do it? You bring up the big guns. And you make it.

Being a hero

Being a hero is about having the courage to do what’s right, what has to be done, when most people wouldn’t.

But when you do what is necessary to make that deadline, you are a hero, you save the day.

I might means you called in all your favors, you dropped or put on hold what wasn’t really important, but you fought, and you won.

But who decided you had to wait until the last moment to do what heroes do?

Everyday hero

You know that when the pressure is right, when you’re close to the end, you find a way to do it.

So how come you always wait until the last moment to invoke these resources?

You don’t need the gloom of the eleventh hour to call your friends and ask for help, or to set aside time and energy to deal with your obligations. Use the resources you have.

Imagine it is the eleventh hour, give yourself an earlier deadline, and be a hero. Not only it will remove some stress from your life, it will also train you to use the best resources for the job, while keeping your mind on your passions.

Let’s say that you spend a week every month dreading some project you have to get done. If you can gather the resources and get it done before the stress comes up, you instantly gain 12 weeks a year that your mind can spend on a subject that you love instead of one that you dread.

I’m not saying it’ll clear your all schedule, but it might clear up a lot of the background processing of your brain, allowing it to be free to enjoy and be passionate instead of being tense and unhappy.

It’s simple to be better than MacGyver, gather all your knowledge and resources and deal with the bomb as soon as you have the tools to defuse it at your disposal, instead of waiting until your mind can’t simply hide it anymore.

Tell us in the comments how you are better than MacGyver.

Forget success. Fail more!

Last time I wrote about the success mindset and why, if you actually want to succeed, it’s not the brightest idea to think about all the potential for failure. If you haven’t read it yet, go check it out.
But before you say anything, let me tell you: there is nothing inherently bad about failure.

Let’s start from the beginning..

What is failure?

Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success.


Yeah, it looks bad.

Nobody likes not meeting a desirable or intended objective, otherwise it definitely wouldn’t be intended, and if it’s desirable, then not meeting it, well.. isn’t.

But what failure is isn’t the problem, what failure entails is.

The consequences of failure

Failure has bad press, most people associate failure with really nasty stuff, such as:

  • shame
  • rejection
  • loss
  • unfulfilled expectations
  • broken promises
  • anger
  • devaluation of one’s self

I’m pretty sure you associate failure with at least part of this list. So you try your best to avoid failure, to the point that, sometimes, it means not trying.

Failure is success!

According to common belief, failure is the opposite of success.. But did you ever think about all the other side-effects of failure:

  • learning what to do and what not to do to obtain a certain result
  • having new ideas of semi-related or completely unrelated projects
  • getting an opportunity to change your path and try something new
  • enjoying the journey itself instead of focusing everything on the results
  • gaining plain experience

Not that bad anymore, right?

So.. why is it so hard to accept failure?

The judgement of others

How is your social support group? Is it supporting of your entreprises? Or does it want you not to try because of potential failure? or because of potential success?

The difference might be the one between trying and not trying, succeeding in what you want or not.

Some communities value failure more than others, so try to be mindful about what your community expects and how it supports you. If possible you want one that will motivate you to succeed but value failure for what it is: a proof of courage and a beneficial experience.

If your community doesn’t provide what you want and need, either find a new community more accepting of your tries and goals, or, at least, do your best to detach yourself from the comments you might receive.

Your own judgement

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

Sir Winston Churchill

While a supporting tribe will definitely help, it is not of much use if you base your self-worth on your successes, or more appropriately, in not failing.

If you want to be happy, to accomplish your goals, you need to fail, and more than that, you need to accept to fail. Bonus points if you “seek” failure by trying anything that you want even if it’s out of your league (for now). But, no points if you deliberately fail at something you want to accomplish, though. Try to experience, learn. And be playful about it all.

Success isn’t the point of life, experience is, and in order to experience, you need to be willing to fail.

What are you willing to risk in order to do and get what you want?